UP's Pride and Glory

Lecturer Abreu in Palihan 9

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Achievements

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Senior Lecturer Lualhati Abreu of Dept. of Social Sciences delivered the lecture "Ang Danas ng Mindanao Sa Ilalim ng Batas Militar, Pakikibakang Muslim At Lumad" on 15 November 2021, online, in Panel 9 of "Palihan: PS 21 Faculty Development Program," organized by UP Diliman, UP Los Baños, and UP Cebu.

Panel 9, with the theme "Katutubong Pamayanan sa Kordilyera (IPs); Lumad at Muslim sa Mindanao," included Cordillera People’s Alliance chairperson Joanna K. Cariño, who spoke on "Ang Pakikibaka Laban sa Mga Chico Dam at ang Pamumuo ng Kilusang Masa sa Kordilyera."

According to the organizers, "Ang Palihan ay binuo para sa tuluy-tuloy na pagpapaunlad ng mga faculty na nagtuturo, magtuturo at may interes na magturo ng GE course na PS 21: Wika, Panitikan, at Kultura sa Ilalim ng Batas Militar sa Pilipinas. Bilang kursong umiiral sa loob pa lamang ng tatlong semestre, nangangailangan ang mga faculty ng tuluy-tuloy na programa ng pagpapalakas at pagpapaunlad at makapagpalitan ng mga kaalaman, kagamitan, programa at serbisyo. Naniniwala kami na ang patuloy na umuunlad na kaguruan ng PS 21 ay magiging higit na kapaki-pakinabang sa pagkatuto ng mga estudyante at makakamaksima ng rekurso na inihahain ng bawat kampus. Magiging tulay din ang programang ito na magdurugtong sa mga naunang subject-expert at o primary source, at mga bago at umuunlad na nakababatang guro."

[Updated] UP Mindanao Represents Region XI in DOST-PCAARRD’s NSAARRD 2021

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Achievements

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Update: A research paper from UP Mindanao was awarded first prize in the National Symposium on Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (NSAARRD) held online on 22 October 2021. "Giving Farmers uwen fananafedew: Improving Agricultural Extension in Conflict-Vulnerable Areas through the Livelihood Improvement through Facilitated Extension (LIFE) Model" won in the Best Development Papers category and was awarded on 29 November 2021. The LIFE Model is an extension modality for conflict-vulnerable areas that was implemented in three barangays in Surallah, South Cotabato Province, Datu Abdullah Sangki and Ampatuan in Maguindanao, and Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay. The research and extension program forged 17 memoranda of agreement with LGUs and institutions in the areas. 

Read the news report here: http://www.pcaarrd.dost.gov.ph/home/portal/index.php/quick-information-dispatch/3865-mindanao-focused-research-awarded-best-r-d-papers?fbclid=IwAR2GKcVlclqC5ZE3U3lrh2EtN34_StbtgRoUQdi67eYCJWX1Z-QrpD7apqs


      The Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) held its National Symposium for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (NSAARRD) on 22 October 2021. Three papers each were presented in the Research and Development categories, respectively. Before the top three papers in each category were identified, papers on R&D conducted in the Philippines during the last two years were submitted as entry/ies and evaluated by a screening committee.

      The University of the Philippines Mindanao entry entitled “Giving Farmers Uwen Fananafedew: Improving Agricultural Extension Policy in Conflict-Vulnerable Areas through the Livelihood Improvement through Facilitated Extension (LIFE) Model” presented by Dr. Emma Ruth V. Bayogan competed in the Development Category. The paper is a product of the DOST-PCAARRD-funded program entitled “Enhancing Livelihood Opportunities in Conflict-Vulnerable Areas in Mindanao through the LIFE (Livelihood Improvement through Facilitated Extension) Model”, which aimed to establish improved, sustainable, and resilient community-based livelihoods for the conflict-vulnerable areas in Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources (AANR) sector in Mindanao. The program ran from December 2017 to April 2021 and was implemented in Surallah, South Cotabato; Datu Abdullah Sangki and Ampatuan, Maguindanao; and Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. The paper won Best Paper in the Development Category during the Southern Mindanao Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development Consortium’s Regional Symposium on Research Development and Extension Highlights in Davao City on 29 September 2020.

     UP Mindanao’s paper went against Benguet State University’s “Disaster Reduction of Climate Change Impacts on Vegetable Terrace Farms in Benguet” presented by Prof. Alexander W. Fagyan and Central Luzon State University’s “Sustainable Homegrown Forages and Complete Nutrient Diet Towards Enhancing Growth and Milk Production of Dairy Buffaloes in Nueva Ecija and San Agustin, Isabela” presented by Dr. Daniel L. Aquino.

     The judges were: Dr. Domingo E. Angeles of the Philippine Fruit Association; Dr. Edna A. Anit of the Crop Science Society of the Philippines; Dr. Feliciano G. Calora Jr. of DOST-PCAARRD; Dr. Danilo C. Cardenas of the Philippine Agricultural Economics and Development Association, Inc.; and Dr. Edwin C. Villar, CESO IV, of the Philippine Society of Animal Science.

      Results will be announced during DOST-PCAARRD’s S&T Awards and Recognition on 29 November 2021.

Written by: KS Sigue
Date: 10 November 2021

Highlights of September 2021

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Achievements

     Chancellor’s Report to the President’s Advisory Council


September 2021 PAC Report 1The COVID-19 Tracker (https://ncovtracker.doh.gov.ph) had the following data for the six Mindanao regions as of 30 September 2021: 

  • 330,645 total cases since the start of the pandemic 
  • 19,719 active cases 
  • 5,526 deaths since the start of the pandemic 

The quarantine status of Davao City’s quarantine status was lowered to the more relaxed General Community Quarantine on 06-30 September 2021, from the “General Community Quarantine with Heightened Restrictions” in effect starting July to August 2021. 


COVID-19 Initiatives & Collaboration

In September 2021, the UP Mindanao Multi-Purpose Gym and the Faculty and Staff Housing Building completed their 17th month of use as COVID-19 Isolation Facilities of the Davao City government. The memorandum of agreement was extended for another three months beginning 20 July 2021. 

The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao provided SARS-COV-2/ COVID-19 Diagnostics Training to six (6) medical personnel of Kidapawan City Molecular Lab on 29-30 September 2021, as part of the continuing UP TRAINS Program to assist the Department of Health.

PGC Main in UP Diliman provided Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) equipment and manpower to PGC-Visayas and PGC-Mindanao to further expand their capacity for genomically-informed biosurveillance in the country.

In September 2021, PGC Mindanao prepared to procure equipment and consumables for the project, “Enhancing National Pandemic Preparedness and Response in the Philippines Through Genomic Biosurveillance: Utilizing the UP PGC Network in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao,” funded by the Department of Budget and Management. Also, PGC Mindanao received a donation of OT-2 Liquid Handler Labware from Opentrons and Bacillus subtilis protein secretion toolkit from Stanford University.

“Molding Learners into Leaders:” Knowledge Creation and Public Service; Promote Access and Diversity

Towards  producing competent and ethical graduates

The BS Architecture program again witnessed a 100%-passing performance by its graduates in the August 2021 Architects Licensure Exam, adding to its roster eight new licensed architects:

  • Antonrey Catabas, BSA 2018
  • Kenneth Dolero, BSA 2018
  • Yna Corazon Espinosa, BSA 2018
  • Nezcel Federizo, BSA 2018
  • Kate Gallofin, BSA 2018
  • Emman Militar, BSA 2019
  • JC Waldo Serquiña, BSA 2019
  • Duane Soliva, BSA 2018

Image for bulletin above: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PZB6q6gDVesd9QzKDWySWZAqI3d6jFOu/view?usp=sharing(CREDIT: Graphic courtesy of UAPSA)

UP Mindanao welcomed two batches of students – from Academic Years 2020–2021 and 2021–2022 – in its first online University Convocation on 13 September 2021, marking the start of classes for the First Semester of Academic Year 2021-2022. Chancellor Larry N. Digal delivered the welcome remarks and reminded the students to uphold the university’s values of “Honor and Excellence;” Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Nilo B. Oponda presented the current remote learning solutions; Dr. Exequiel P. Dimaano, BS Food Technology 2007, gave an inspirational message. Faculty and staff members, and members of the student councils, were introduced. University Registrar Vladimer B. Kobayashi reported that the 368 new students comprising batch 2021 represented an 18% increase over the 312 students of batch 2020, who were also presented and welcomed in the ceremony. A new degree program was introduced: the Associate in Arts in Sports Studies (AASS). Arabella Fiona E. Cebulleros (1BS Biology), the highest University Predicted Grade (UPG)-holder of batch 2021, delivered the student speech while Al-Abedin A. Salahuddin (2BS Biology), the highest UPG-holder of batch 2020, led the Student Pledge.

The Koro Kantahanay chorale’s video recording of “Kayo Mungay Daun,” a tribal song, was played in the Convocation. Two video predictions were given their premiere screenings: 

  • UP Mindanao 2021 Campus Tour video (short version), produced by the UP Mindanao Virtual Tour Committee and the BACMA Sibya Media Production Unit (https://youtu.be/cXI_rcSdXpQ
  • Mensahe,” a short film of a student undergoing remote learning, by BA Communication and Media Arts student Jeneva Pauline Zulueta (https://youtu.be/HNDuMid-w64).

Read more: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-mJyKkon80Pe_6Tp6xoVc3GtQBLrJ-PW/view?usp=sharing

DOST-Newton Agham researchers conclude workshop on Omics in One Health

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Achievements

The University of the Philippines Mindanao (UPMin), in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), UK, has successfully completed the One Health Omics Project, a week-long free online bioinformatics workshop from October 11-16, 2021. Out of 124 applicants, only 40 were shortlisted to participate in the workshop composed of faculty members, clinicians, and researchers from different regions in Mindanao. In the opening ceremony, Dr. Aleyla De Cadiz, Project Leader of One Health Omics, said that the workshop serves to capacitate Filipino researchers in Mindanao on omics technology in the surveillance, management, and control of infections in a One Health setting. 

“We want to expose Mindanaoan researchers to bioinformatics tools and techniques which can be helpful in their research focus and future research endeavors in the region,” she said.

Bioinformatics is a combination of biology and information technology that allows researchers to use a computer to further examine and understand the characteristics of an organism or a microbe through its genome, such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the COVID-19 disease. 

Today, bioinformatics algorithms made it possible to quickly assemble the genome sequence of the coronavirus which helped scientists to quickly develop diagnostic test kits and give an immediate head start in vaccine development.

The bioinformatics workshop was facilitated by Dr. Jody Phelan, Julian Libiseller-Egger, Daniel Ward, Anton Spadar, and Paula Josefina Gómez González, bioinformatics experts from LSHTM, all members of Professor Taane Clark’s team.

Dr. Phelan, one of the lead trainers expressed his willingness to help and assist the participants beyond the workshop activity. He encouraged the young Filipino researchers to keep on doing the materials in their own time. Dr. Phelan also looks forward to conducting face-to-face training soon. “I would love to meet everyone face-to-face so let us hope that the situation improves and that we can travel.”

The workshop proved to be very challenging to the participants given that bioinformatics is a new learning field in health research, but they were grateful to have been introduced to its concepts and applications. 

“The workshop gave us the technical experience and knowledge in handling datasets in different omics approaches. This will be very useful to a researcher like me who is interested in doing omics approach studies,” said Vanessa Joy Diamante, a researcher at the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao.

Joseph Mari Querequincia, a registered pharmacist and faculty member of San Pedro College Davao, said he was grateful to have been included in this training course.

“The workshop allowed me to warrant a skill for Bioinformatics in which I could utilize for future academic and research undertakings related to pharmacogenomics and drug discovery,” said Querequincia.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jonah Adtoon, an Internal Medicine Specialist at the Department of Health (DOH) XI declared her willingness to be involved in more clinical research projects in the omics field for disease investigation and patient management.

Professor of Genomics and Global Health in LSHTM and the lead United Kingdom (UK) coordinator Prof. Taane Clark said that the skills learned during the workshop will allow the participants to apply big data methods to genomics questions and investigations.

"Bioinformatics and genomics techniques, as well as conducting related molecular investigations, are important skills for the participants to become genomics and genomic epidemiological experts and will contribute to improving the health of the Philippines population. Some of the trainees in our previous workshops are now trainers in bioinformatics, and it is very exciting and personally rewarding to be part of capacity building and strengthening in genomics, and contribute to ongoing Philippines-UK biomedical collaborations," he said.

In her message, PGC Mindanao Program Director Dr. Lyre Anni Murao recalled the first workshop conducted by LSHTM at PGC in Diliman and its influence on the establishment of PGC in Mindanao.

“The workshop played a pivotal role in establishing our facility, because without a background on omics we wouldn’t be able to take PGC Mindanao to where it is right now, so thank you very much for sharing your skills and expertise,” she said.

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One Health Team25percent Participants3a

The workshop was made possible through the PGC Mindanao team of Dr. Lyre Anni Murao, Dr. Joel Hassan Tolentino, Dr. Ritchie Mae Gamot, Dr. Giovanna Fae Oguis, Ms. Ediflor Yanong, Mr. Jan Divina, Mr. Polo Gaite, Ms. Marian Luayon, Ms. Janessa Villota, and Mr. Ruben Enad, Jr.

The One Health Omics Project was funded by DOST-Newton Agham Researcher Links Workshop grant from the British Council in partnership with London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) - Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD). The workshop is also co-sponsored by the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao.

The LSHTM will be having its second run of Online Bioinformatics Workshop on November 22-25, 2021 which will focus on Infectious Diseases. This will be participated by 30 participants from the Philippines and 30 participants from the UK. 

#     (By JANESSA V.VILLOTA, Information Officer I, Philippine Genome Center Mindanao)

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